At the age of 16, I created a self portrait that perfectly mapped my psyche - teachers were commenting on its technical attributes, but I was looking to resolve a deep inner conflict. I felt lost in the sea of other peoples opinions, ideologies, dogmas and expectations. Only a year or so later I drew myself floating in a sort of lovely energetic bubble (I had no idea what energy was! or boundaries). It wasn't until DECADES later, that I was able to learn from the guidance of this early, early work.
In graduate school, I began to create artworks about birth, death, regeneration and decay - falling into the collective. In retrospect I can see that my works were not "about" these topics in a removed or intellectualized way - they were literally showing me a new way of being, an entry way into the spiral of living and our endless capacities to die and be reborn, constantly. You, your life - none of it is fixed I heard. It is all impermanent. I was not just creating artworks - I was mapping out a way of being that would forever change me.